Nationwide Electricity Crisis Deepens As NDPHC Reduces Electricity Supply To Aba From 25MW To 10MW

The Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) has reduced electricity supply to the Aba Ring-fenced Area that compromises nine of the 17 local government areas in Abia State by more than 50%.

According to sources close to Aba Power which serves the nine LGAs but who asked for anonymity in the media because they are not authorized to speak to the press on the issue, the reduction started last week, with supplies dropping from 25 Megawatts to 10MW without any official explanation or apology.

The Aba Power Managing Director, Patrick Umeh, confirmed the drastic reduction in a brief telephone conversation with journalists this afternoon but declined further comment because “I am in Lagos right now attending a critical meeting of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)”, where he once served as the Commissioner for Market Rates, Market and Competition.

Aba, Nigeria’s centre of indigenous technology and local manufacturing, needs 100MW to achieve electricity stability, according to Chief Adolphus Udeigbo, President General of the 22,00O -member Aba Landlords Protection and Development Association (ALPADA).

“We have been complaining bitterly that the 25MW from the NDPHC is grossly inadequate, only to have it cut further at a time of acute heat and unprecedented economic crisis”, the ALPADA leader said.

“It’s so painful that Aba people couldn’t watch some of the matches at the just concluded African Nations Cup Competition in Cote d’Ivoire because of the meagre supplies”.

Chief Udeigbo described the significant cut as shocking because the Geometric Power group, which owns Aba Power, “has just passed the NDPHC N500m for supplies”.

Bob Chukwueke, an Aba-based legal consultant, told journalists this morning: “This is why we can’t wait for the 181MW Geometric Power plant at the Osisioma Industrial Layout in Aba to get commissioned so that we will be freed the embarrassing performance of the nation’s electricity networks”.

There are unconfirmed reports that the Geometric Power plant may be commissioned before the end of this month.

An engineer working at the NDPHC confided in our correspondent today that his company diverted 15MW from the 25MW supplied to the Aba Ring-fenced Area to other parts of Nigeria to help mitigate the worsening energy crisis throughout the nation.

The engineer, who did not want his name disclosed for fear of repercussion, revealed that gas-producing firms have in the last few weeks reduced their supplies to power generation companies because of the huge amounts owed for previous supplies.

Eighty per cent of Nigeria’s electricity output is from thermal power plants, so reduced gas supplies are bound to have a serious impact throughout the country.

As though to worsen the country’s power crisis, the three hydro plants at Shiroro, Jebba and Kainji, all in Niger State, are performing suboptimally now because of the dry season.

“It is a pity that Nigeria has continued to suffer water management problems at the dams”, stated Matthew Abiodun, a retired engineer with the Kainji power station, Nigeria’s biggest hydropower plant which was built in 1968.

The transmission network has also been in poor shape, Abiodun added.

“It is old, poorly maintained and so fragile”, he told a meeting of engineers in Lagos recently.

“It collapses easily, and it is worsening by the month”.

There is hardly any month there is no complete system collapse, meaning nationwide blackout”.   

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